Limerick student proves age no barrier to success and eyes return to classroom

Mike Finnerty

Reporter:

Mike Finnerty

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michael.finnerty@limerickleader.ie

Limerick student proves age no barrier to success and eyes return to classroom

Mary Mehigan was student of the year at Hibernia College and is looking to emulate some family members with her second career

A Limerick Post-Primary Education graduate, Mary Mehigan, was honoured with student of the year at the Hibernia College conferring ceremony in Dublin recently – and proved that age is no barrier.

Mary, originally from Lisaleen, Patrickswell was honoured with the overall Student of the Year Award – which is presented by the College to the student in each cohort with the highest grade across the Post-Primary programme.

Mary worked in retail sales and marketing for 20 years before taking the plunge and pursuing a MBA at Hibernia College in Dublin.

Discussing what set her down the teaching path, she noted that teaching was always a family affair for her.

“I come from a family of teachers, my mother and two of my sisters were teachers. My aunt was actively involved in her teachers’ trade union over the decades. Further back still my grandfather was a school principal in Co Limerick – teaching was in my blood so to speak.”

“I wanted to be part of something meaningful and support individual students’ journey to be the best version of themselves to which they might aspire,” she said of her chosen career path.

Another fork-in-the-road moment came when she was made redundant. She said: “I used this opportunity to switch roles with my husband. He pursued his career full time and for eight years I was the full-time carer of our two sons.

Nonetheless, the desire to teach never went away.

”When my sons were twelve and fifteen I registered as a further education teacher and gained two years’ classroom experience covering others’ maternity leave,” she said.

Now the glow of graduation has worn off, she now hopes to attain a permanent position in Ennis or in Limerick teaching her registered subjects of French, Economics and Business.